News, Notes, and Dispatches From Wherever Coconuts Grow
Category: Indian Ocean

December 28, 2007

Needed: Coconut Pluckers. Plenty of Work Available.

Looking for an outdoors job? Enjoy climbing coconut palm trees?

The Hindu News reports that there is a severe shortage of coconut pluckers in Kerala.

Kerala, 'the land of coconuts' is hit by acute shortage of tree climbers and farmhands, forcing the government to think about measures like starting a training school to create a pool of workers.

From this news article.

Posted by brian at 11:51 AM | Indian Ocean | Comments (26)

October 28, 2006

Ketamine Disguised as Coconut Charcoal

What will they think of next...

Big haul of Ketamine in Chennai
Chennai, Oct 28: The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) seized 30 kg of ketamine, an internationally banned drug, worth over Rs three crore in the global market on October 26, a DRI press release said.

The drug was concealed in a consignment of export goods declared as coconut shell charcoal in the name of a Chennai based company and was consigned to Taiwan, the release said.

During enquiry, the exporter denied having sent the consignment and held that the company usually exported textiles only to Sri Lanka and not to Taiwan, the release said.

In two previous raids, the DRI, Chennai, had seized 15 kg of ketamine consigned for Hong Kong and China, the release added. (Our Correspondent)


Posted by brian at 12:42 PM | Indian Ocean | Comments (0)

June 03, 2006

Live near an angry volcano? Offer it coconuts

That's what they do in Java, near Mount Merapi, according to this article: "... Apart from the relative risks of leaving or staying put, many villagers feel a spiritual attachment to Merapi. The volcano is shrouded in superstition. Once a year they perform a ritual to placate it, offering up gifts of rice, green coconuts, and cow's liver..."

Posted by brian at 08:00 PM | Indian Ocean | Comments (0)

November 27, 2005


Big story in the New York Times Magazine about last year's terrible tsunami. From the article:
As Jaloe, the fisherman, steered his boat back to Banda Aceh, the first sign of the city's destruction was hundreds of coconuts. It seemed as if truckloads had been dumped into the sea, and now they eddied his way. More puzzling yet, he saw a cow gamely struggling to swim...

The whole story is available here.

Posted by brian at 04:30 PM | Indian Ocean | Comments (1)

November 06, 2005

Those Pesky Red Palm Weevils

More threats to coconut trees: this time, watch out for Rhynchophorus ferrugineus!

From the article: "The eggs are usually laid in fresh wounds or injuries on the coconut palm. The apodous (absence of legs) grub bores into the interior of the palm, feeding voraciously on the inner soft succulent tissues."

I guess everyone, even weevils, loves coconuts.

Posted by brian at 10:32 AM | Indian Ocean | Comments (0)

December 26, 2004

Earthquake and Tsunami

The headlines today are full of news about the earthquake and tsunami in South Asia. Here's one page that's trying to summarize the news.

Interesting that there hasn't been a peep about the situation at the Diego Garcia military base. Surely it got hit too, if the Maldives did.

Meanwhile, here's some Flickr coverage of the tsunami.

Posted by brian at 06:21 PM | Indian Ocean | Comments (3)

September 29, 2004

Brad DeLong on Coir

Not often that coir gets mentioned in a big long blog posting (or even a tiny blog posting), but sometimes it does.

Posted by brian at 10:17 AM | Indian Ocean | Comments (0)

May 16, 2004

Coconut Hazards

Coconut tree falls on child in Male, Maldives. Story from Haveenu Daily here.

Posted by brian at 10:57 AM | Indian Ocean | Comments (0)

April 11, 2004

Too much spirit kills sorcerer

Here's a news report out of Sri Lanka of a sorcerer who accidentally killed himself instead of removing the evil spirit from a customer:

The 71-year-old man had used his full force to dash a coconut on the ground as part of the ritual on behalf of a customer, but lost his balance and ended up hooked on the trident, a weapon of Hindu gods, the Sinhalese-language Lankadeepa said.

Posted by brian at 08:17 PM | Indian Ocean | Comments (0)

February 07, 2004

The Coconut Giveth and the Coconut Taketh Away

Falling Coconut Tree Kills Man is the headline of a story datelined Male, Maldives, on January 25th 2004. The tree was being cut down, and he stood in the wrong place when it fell. Ouch.
Posted by brian at 04:56 PM | Indian Ocean | Comments (0)

November 12, 2003

First There is a Coconut, Then There Isn't, Then There Is

You might say the region around Trincomalee in Sri Lanka has lost a thousand acres of coconuts a year for the past twenty years, thanks to the ongoing civil war in the country. Here's an article about how the Coconut Cultivation Board has begun a new seedling distribution to the needy residents of the area, in the hopes of restoring the coconut-based economy.

Posted by brian at 10:30 PM | Indian Ocean | Comments (0)

October 08, 2003

Update on Chagos Case

Looks like some sort of ruling is forthcoming from a judge in the UK regarding the Chagos Islanders exiled from Diego Garcia decades ago.

This was mentioned here in the Coconut Blog back on July 29th.

Posted by brian at 08:33 PM | Indian Ocean | Comments (0)

October 03, 2003

Kerala's Teledensity

Kerala, a region of India that just might be the coconut capital of the world, claims to have the highest "teledensity" --- ratio of telephones per capita --- in all of India. Compared to Europe and North America, the word density would not be the first thing to come to mind: Kerala has only 10.6 telephones per 100 people, while India as a whole averages 5 per 100. The waiting list for landlines in Kerala has 460,000 names on it.
Posted by brian at 05:22 PM | Indian Ocean | Comments (0)

July 29, 2003

Kerala Facing 'Acute Shortage' of Coir

News from Kerala, the Indian region known as the "Land of Coconuts":

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala, known as land of coconut, is planning to import coconut fibres from Sri Lanka in order to save the crisis-ridden coir industry.

Replying to questions, Agriculture Minister K R Gauri Amma told the state Assembly that the present crisis in the coir industry was not due to the piling up of stock, but due to the acute shortage of raw materials.

See the full story from

Posted by brian at 08:44 PM | Indian Ocean | Comments (0)

Chagos Islanders Want to Go Home

There's an interesting story in the July 27th issue of The Observer about the plight of the original inhabitants of the island of Diego Garcia who were kicked off the island to enable US/UK to establish a base there.

From the article:

A Colonial Office official called Patrick Wright wrote in a note to the British mission at the UN: '...there will be no indigenous population except seagulls, who have not yet got a committee. Unfortunately along with the birds go some few Tarzans and Men Fridays, whose origins are obscure and who are hopefully being wished onto Mauritius.'

Those 'Tarzans and Men Fridays' had in fact been on the islands for several hundred years, working on the coconut plantations, speaking a Creole tongue derived from French and English, and hunting and fishing for food.

The effect of the uprooting of the islanders from their homes devastated many lives. Cherry said: 'My father eventually went mad before he died. He spent too much of his life in grief.'

Read the Full Story at The Observer.

Here's a related (and more in-depth) November 2000 story from BBC News: The Chagos Islands: A Sordid Tale.

UPDATE: 31 July 2003... Here's a page with a huge amount of details on the lawsuits, the demands of the Chagos Islanders, and the latest news, from Ted Morris, the guy who runs a likewise huge website on everything you ever wanted to know about Diego Garcia -- at least, from the American serviceman's perspective.

Posted by brian at 07:21 PM | Indian Ocean | Comments (2)

Welcome to the Coconut Blog

Just in the nick of time, before the seventh anniversary of the Coconut website: the launch of the Coconut Web Log, or Coconut Blog for short.

The mission of this blog is to cover current events, issues, and insights into what's happening these days all over the tropical world.... wherever coconuts grow...

Posted by brian at 11:28 AM | Indian Ocean | Comments (0)

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